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Released: January 1990

Genre: rap

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Here Comes the Hammer
  2. U Can’t Touch This
  3. Have You Seen Her?
  4. Yo!! Sweetness
  5. Help the Children
  6. On Your Face
  7. Dancin’ Machine
  8. Pray
  9. Crime Story
  10. She’s Soft and Wet
  11. Black Is Black
  12. Let’s Go Deeper
  13. Work This

Rating: 3.500 (average of 3 ratings)


sales in U.S. only 10 million
sales in U.K. only - estimated 600,000
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 20 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 21
peak on U.K. album chart 8

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Help the Children (1/27/90) #12 RB
  • U Can’t Touch This (4/28/90) #2a US, #3 UK, #1 RB
  • Have You Seen Her? (6/30/90) #4 US, #8 UK, #4 RB. Gold single.
  • Pray (9/22/90) #2 US, #8 UK, #4 RB. Gold single.
  • Here Comes the Hammer (1/5/91) #54 US, #15 UK, #15 RB
  • Yo!! Sweetness (6/1/91) #16 UK


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of the Top 100 All-Time World’s Best-Selling Albums Juno Award for International Album of the Year. Click to go to DMDB awards page.

Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em
M.C. Hammer
Please Hammer Don't Hurt ‘Em proved that rap music was no longer just a specialty niche genre, but had the crossover potential to be a commercial juggernaut” (Huey).

“But in an art form so conscious of preserving its integrity, this wasn’t the way to go about it – at least not from a creative standpoint. Hammer builds the majority of the songs here on obvious samples from easily recognizable soul and funk hits of the past, relying on the original hooks without twisting them into anything new (or, by implication, his own). That approach confirmed the worst fears of hip-hop purists about how the music might hit the mainstream” (Huey).

“Taken on its own terms, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em is a pretty slick – if unsubtle – pop confection. Hammer certainly has good taste in source material, if nothing else; the hits U Can’t Touch This and Pray crib from Rick James’ ‘Super Freak’ and Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry,’ respectively, and the ballad Have You Seen Her is a flat-out cover of the Chi-Lites' hit (with some updated lyrics)” (Huey).

“Other tracks sample Marvin Gaye, Earth, Wind & Fire, and the Jackson 5. Throughout the record, choruses are repeated ad infinitum for maximum memorability, which either makes it irresistible or irritating, depending on your taste. Hammer has improved as a rapper – his delivery is often more subtle, and he even attempts a little bit of verbal flash here and there. He still isn’t technically on a par with the average MC of the time – he’s a little too stiff, flowing awkwardly around the beat” (Huey).

“Of course, his simple style also makes him easy to understand, and coupled with the highly danceable production and a great set of borrowed hooks, it’s easy to see why Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em was so popular – and why it now functions chiefly as a nostalgia piece” (Huey).

Review Source(s):

Last updated February 4, 2009.